Parents can help children ease the transition from their old home and school to new ones by following these suggestions.
Preparing Children for the Move
- Break the news of a move carefully once you are certain of it. Young children need only a few weeks’ notice. Tell older children as soon as possible.
Arrange a goodbye party at school or with friends. Put together a scrapbook to remember those friends and make the separation less traumatic.
- Help your children write a note or draw a picture for the new owners of your home. Take a farewell tour of the house before leaving.
- Keep a box or bag of your child’s special possessions handy during the move so it can be unpacked quickly.
- Expect some regression. Younger children may make new friends easier, but they are more likely to wet the bed, get clingy or throw tantrums. Eating, sleeping patterns and other behaviors may change as well.
- Let your kids know it’s OK to feel sad or angry about the move, but emphasize the good things about the move, the new opportunities your family will have and the similarities between the new and old communities.
- Create a familiar environment by letting your child redecorate her or his room or to decide, on their own, a new look.
- Arrange for a conversation or correspondence between your child’s old teacher and new teacher to ease the transition into a new classroom. Put together a portfolio of your child’s work to show the new teacher.
Books for Moving Children
“Boomer’s Big Day” by Constance McGeorge
“Goodbye House” by Frank Asch
“I’m Not Moving, Mama!” by Nancy White
“Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move” by Judith Viorst
“The Leaving Morning” by Angela Johnson
“Why Do We Have to Move?” by Cynthia MacGregor
“Leaving Home With a Pickle Jar” by Barbara Dungan
“The Moving Book: A Kids’ Survival Guide” by Gabriel Davis
“The Year My Parents Ruined My Life” by Martha Freeman
“The Private Notebook of Katie Roberts, Age 11”, by Amy Hest